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Arizona baseball crushes Cal Baptist for second straight high-scoring win

arizona-wildcats-baseball-cal-baptist-lancers-recap-stats-highlights-pac12-hicorbett-2023 Arizona Athletics

Midweek college baseball games are about as unpredictable as they come, usually single competitions with days off before and after. But for Arizona, it felt like a continuation to the end of its first home weekend.

The Wildcats cranked out 19 hits, one fewer than it had in their previous game, topping their Sunday scoring output by one in a 16-7 win over Cal Baptist on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field.

Combined with the 15-5 win over West Virginia on Sunday, the UA (5-3) has scored 31 runs with 39 hits the past two games after scoring 25 runs in its first six contests.

“We feed off each other,” said senior Tyler Casagrande, who had three RBI including a 2-run double from the No. 9 hole. “That two, three games there where we dropped a couple, no one was hitting. But I feel like once two or three guys started hitting it was contagious.”

The 31 runs are the most over a 2-game span since plating 32 in a pair of March 2021 wins over Oklahoma, and the 2-game hit tally was the most since having 40 in back-to-back games against Hartford in 2017.

“We were swinging the bats well, we were hitting the right pitches,” UA coach Chip Hale said. “We knew we were gonna have to make them throw strikes and we did a good job of it.”

Six Wildcats had multi-hit games, with Chase Davis and Cameron LaLiberte getting four apiece. Davis’ tally included a 2-run home run, his third of the season, while he and LaLiberte each drove in four.

Ironically, the only UA starter without a hit was center fielder Mac Bingham, who had four hits including two homers along with seven RBI on Sunday.

Casagrande, in his fifth season with Arizona, is hitting .353 with six RBI. He’s started four games, two in right field and two at designated hitter, after making 25 starts last season but hitting only .211.

“First of all, he’s a veteran,” Hale said. “He’s been in a lot of games here at the U of A. He’s earned a chance with his good fall and his good early spring to get in the lineup. We like the at-bats and he just keeps having big ones.”

Arizona scored three runs in the first and four in the second, its first nine batters to put the ball in play reaching base. That was more than enough support for right-hander Aiden May, who retired the first 10 Lancers and went six-plus innings, allowing four runs and eight hits with six strikeouts for his first win.

“He’s going to pitch on the weekend for us when Pac-12 play starts, at some point, whether it’s out of the pen or a mix (of starting and relieving),” Hale said. “We’ve gonna have a lot of options.”

Arizona continues its 7-game homestand Friday when it opens a 3-game series against North Dakota State at Hi Corbett Field.